Rocket Acceleration Logger


Have you ever wondered how high or how fast a model rocket goes when you launch it? [sprite_tm] did, so he decided to build a low cost, lightweight data logger that he could fit into the nose cone of his rocket. To keep the circuit small, he built it around the popular ATtiny13 microcontroller. The microcontroller collects data from a Freescale MMA7260, a 3-axis accelerometer that he extracted from a third-party Wii nunchuck controller. After the microcontroller collects the data, it’s stored in 32K of EEPROM on a 24C256. All of this is powered by a small 3.6v Li-ion battery, which is the largest part of the circuit. If this sounds like something you’d like to make, he has detailed instructions along with the software used available on his site. While we don’t launch a lot of model rockets here, we may soon start just so that we have an excuse to build this.

17 thoughts on “Rocket Acceleration Logger

  1. best source for itty bitty micro Lipo (150mAh) packs other than those cheap R/C helis, are HMV’s own brand MPman players, they are easy to take apart and have a nice little matrix display to boot.

    Also a cool project would be to attach one to a helium balloon and track its progress optically or by burst radio :)
    (aka conundrum)

  2. forgot to mention, you can also get a nice 3 axis accelerometer from those PS2 “golfing” games, bonus is they show up ultra cheap at car boot sales and with a bit of dremelage can be extracted intact with a 1cm2 pcb McNugget complete with all the goodies.

    if you are really clever you can also use the transmitter to send analogue data to your PC as well, 3 channels at up to 500 Hz…


  3. figures, I was only searching Polish shops and all google could come up were old gametrack games like “Real World Golf”.
    Found one RealPlay golf at $50 :/

    Got a great deal today, bought HP Photosmart 8250 for $2 (one beer). Philips ARM (some obscure model, cant find anything about it), 64MB DDR ram, 8MB SPI Flash, batery backed I2C RTC, 16KB I2C Flash, 2.5′ 480×234 A025CN03 LCD, lots of buttons, lots of leds, 2 steppers, pump, gears and crap. If I could only guess jtag pinout.

    and all I needed was 24C128 that would cost me same $2 new

  4. rasz, i’ll take your hp and raise you an epson cx3200 :) found abandoned in the rain in safeway’s car park (!!!!!) cost $0.00 looks like a blocked head but the scanner and mech still works. i have managed to fix those before but this one is totally fried. LCD, steppers, drive PCB, etc yadyada.

    also have some 20*2 matrix VFDs from a surplus POS system, cost me £50 for the lot.
    email mandoline at the cw gsy isp dot net :)

  5. Hey Rasz (or anyone), I bought that same printer and before I tossed it I grabbed the LCD off the top. I’ve been looking to get into LCD programming and I was pretty excited to find the model number on the unit. I managed to find a spec sheet for it but I’m kind of a noob at circuits and such. Could you contact me through my website (I don’t want to post my email and get even more spam :( ) and give me some information on how to hook this up to something and mess with it?

  6. that lcd ( A025CN03 ) takes in RGB analog + digital timing signals. I didnt play with it much, all I could do was make it one solid color by applying voltage to analog inputs and letting printer driver take care of timing circuit.

  7. Hmmm… well the UPS051 is the controller for it, it’s on the circuit board where all the buttons were. I managed to find the spec sheet for that as well. Do you think it’d be worth trying to order one of those and hooking it up? Or would you recommend another, more hobbyist friendly LCD and controller? What hardware do I need to be able to work with this kind of stuff?

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